6 Ways COVID Has Affected International Shipping You Should Be Aware Of

15 sept. 2020 Amber Clark Amber Clark

Coronavirus has impacted every aspect of our lives in the past year. And the long-term effects are yet to come. Shipping is not an exception. This industry was severely damaged by the pandemic outbreak and still suffers from many related issues.

Of course, one might think that it doesn’t affect them directly, especially if you are lucky to work remotely. For example, as an essay writer online employed by a professional essay service. But in reality, shipping is powering 90% of the world trade, so almost all the goods you see in stores are dependent on it. Whether you are buying goods online or in brick-and-mortar stores, they are probably delivered by water. That’s why it is important to know how COVID-19 has affected this industry.

Initial Decrease

As soon as the pandemic hit the world, the shipping numbers went down. The main reason was the lockdown and the fact that many factories stopped working. In the period between January and February 2020, the operations in Chinese ports were down by 20-40%. And China is a powerhouse of the industry. About 105 routes between Asia and North America/Europe were canceled. All of that resulted in about $1 billion in revenue lost.

Container Shortage

The industry acted pretty quickly and took suitable measures. The port staff was reduced in the majority of countries. And the speed of cargo handling went down, too. As the factories closed, there was no need for so many operating ships. So the number of them was reduced as well.

And then, the world trade started to increase again. Many locations and ports are now open and ready. But they still operate with less staff and there is a significant container shortage.

As a result, delivery delays are extremely common now. There are not enough professionals in ports, ships, and containers to fulfill the demand.

International Delivery Changes

That’s something probably everyone has noticed. Almost all major delivery services changed their routes and delivery addresses a couple of times. USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL – no one was an exception to that.

The main reason was the regulations of particular countries. Every country went on lockdown or similar measures at different times and with different rules. Delivery services temporarily suspended some destinations. It all comes down to the fact that customers are unhappy with many companies for what they cannot really change.

Those businesses that offer digital services didn’t feel it. You won’t find angry comments among EssayHub reviews because everything is fine and according to order. But when it comes to companies that rely on product delivery, many customers are disappointed with delays and changes in destinations.

Unfortunately, it is still a risk. The pandemic is not over yet and the country’s trade regulations can change overnight.

Healthcare Restrictions and Control

It is safe to say that the many temporary trade restrictions are here to stay. It all comes down to new procedures and quality control that have to do with health and safety.

The increase of border controls leads not only to delays. It also affects the price of shipping. Logistic costs are already increasing and will grow even more in the future. It means that shipping for a regular customer will go up in price, too.

Human Related Issues

Another set of factors that impact the industry is all things related to humans. There is now a shortage of port staff because many of them were let go at the beginning of the pandemic.

There are also many crew changes when it comes to ships. Many of them have to do with travel restrictions. There are still destinations that are not considered safe even for transit .

Some companies may experience difficulties with gathering a team of professionals.

And, of course, there is an issue of handling suspect cases on board. It can put people at risk, it adds to regulations set on the ship, and it is a financial risk.

There Is No Insurance for Pandemic

All of the factors named above have two main results – delays and financial losses. End customers will experience delays and a rise in the price of shipping of course. But cargo companies have to deal with lots of financial risks nowadays.

There is no insurance for delays and costs related to the pandemic outbreak. It is still unknown who has to pay for that and how to handle these situations. The community will have to figure it out for the future.

In Summary

Trade and cargo industry was severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. It affected human resources, production, and port operations. There are still many risks in terms of international shipping. There are travel restrictions, healthcare regulations, delivery destination changes. And there is a shortage of employees and containers.

The worst part of that is different regulations regarding the pandemic can change rapidly and a ship can get stuck somewhere on the route as the country is in lockdown, for example.

For end customers, it means that delivery can be delayed for almost anything, whether you buy it online or offline. Some products will not be delivered in time to grocery stores. And it also means that transportation costs will rise.

Amber Clark writes about design, education, and marketing for https://essayhub.com, a popular essay writing service. She is also an artist herself, using her passion as an opportunity to learn about the new trends, and educate others.